New Sheet Music Book for Ballet Accompanists

The Modern Ballet Pianist, a purveyor of recorded music for ballet class, announces its first sheet music book for ballet accompanists. The Classics: Sheet Music for the Ballet Accompanist features 27 pieces of music by composers ranging from Chopin to Rachmaninoff, and specifically arranged with 4 bars of intro and even phrasing for ballet class. Purchase includes free digital download of The Classics album.

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Patrick Stewart Goes Where No Starship Captain Has Before: Into the Ballet Studio

IFC Films has debuted a trailer for Match, a film starring Patrick Stewart as an aging ballet instructor at The Juilliard School in New York City, written and directed by playwright Stephen Belber and based on his 2004 Broadway play of the same name.

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World’s Tallest Dancer, Fabrice Calmels, Triumphs Over Size Restrictions

For 6-foot-6 Joffrey Ballet dancer Fabrice Calmels, officially named the world’s tallest professional ballet dancer by the Guinness Book of World Records this month, rejection was the rule when he was first starting his professional dance career in France.

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Nutmeg Ballet Founder Sharon Dante Honored For Contributions to Connecticut

The Nutmeg Ballet founder Sharon Dante last week received the CultureMax Award, presented by the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council to those who have “elevated the stature of arts and/or heritage within the region of northwest Connecticut.”

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Through Sweat and Struggle to the Stage: Film Looks at the Making of Ballet 422

A newly released trailer gives New York City Ballet fans a sneak peek at BALLET 422, a film that follows NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck as he crafts a new work—a process that, until this film, had never before been documented at New York City Ballet in its entirety.

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Joni Mitchell’s Anti-War Songs Serve as Soulful Soundtrack for Ballet

The more than 100 well-wishers who recently gathered at Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum to wish happy birthday to famed folk singer Joni Mitchell saw a screening of The Fiddle and the Drum, a film she edited that features a 2007 ballet performance of the same name that she conceptualized and scored with choreographer Jean Grand-Maître, the artistic director of Alberta Ballet in Canada.

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Dancers Honored to Keep Balanchine’s Legacy—and His Rubber Plant—Alive

The legend of “The Balanchine Plant” goes back to the 1970s, when George Balanchine, co-founder of New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet, gave a clipping of his rubber plant to one of his leading dancers at the time, Karin von Aroldingen.

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Dancers Help NC High School Students Understand Math, English, and Physics

Fifty dancers from RJ Reynolds High School and eight professionals from the Charlotte [NC] Ballet presented a modern ballet production last week titled Black, Blue and Green, about black history, blues music, and environmental science. Those weren’t the only lessons being taught through dance, though.

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Misty Copeland, Brooklyn Mack, Shatter All-White Stereotype of Swan Lake

The all-white stereotype of Swan Lake, the most traditional of ballets, will be shattered next April when the two lead roles are performed by African Americans: Misty Copeland in the leading role of Odette/Odile, and Brooklyn Mack as her partner and love interest, Prince Siegfried.

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TV’s Jenna Elfman Praises Life Lessons of Ballet in Studio’s New Lectures Series

Westside School of Ballet’s new Dance Talks series, featuring a lineup of successful alumnae who will talk to community youth about their dance training and its positive impact on their lives, kicks off November 15 with speaker Jenna Elfman, star of the TV series Dharma and Greg and a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

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Competition Bows Out for One Year in Favor of Bournonville Workshop

The annual American Ballet Competition (ABC) will not be held in 2015 to permit contestants to take advantage of an educational offering: Bournonville Workshop with the Masters, to be presented by Imagine Ballet Theatre in association with ABC next June.

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From Ballet to Broadway, Donald Saddler Had All The Right Moves

Donald Saddler, a dancer and choreographer whose career lasted more than 60 years and embraced opera, television, movies, ballet, and Broadway, where he won two Tony Awards, died on Saturday in Englewood, New Jersey, reported the New York Times. He was 96.

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Cooperation Between Hospital and Ballet Allows Patients to Enjoy Peter Pan

Cincinnati Ballet will livestream its November 8 matinee performance of Peter Pan to patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, allowing patients and their families to experience the ballet without leaving their hospital rooms.

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Michaela DePrince Joins Great Thinkers and Doers for Annual TEDx Conference

Michaela DePrince, a dancer with Dutch National Ballet and one of the dancers featured in the Youth America Grand Prix documentary First Position, will be one of the speakers during TEDxAmsterdam 2014, the annual inspirational conference for thinkers and doers.

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Series of Vintage Photographs Catch Past Moments of Ballet Greatness

As holiday season approaches, visions of Sugar Plum fairies inevitably begin dancing in our heads. As performances of The Nutcracker count down to a whole new season of dance across the world, the Huffington Post has dug into the photographic archives of Getty and the Associated Press to find the most iconic snapshots of ballerinas and prima donnas over the ages.

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Ballet and Acting Careers Clash for Professional Dancers Cast in Starz Drama

Conflicts with the professional ballet company commitments of dancers cast in the new Starz drama Flesh and Bone is one of the reason the pay cable network has decided to air it as an eight-episode limited series, reported Deadline Hollywood.

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Ballet Magnificat! New Holiday Production a ‘Thank You’ to Home City

Ballet Magnificat! is partnering with its home city of Jackson, Mississippi, and The Salvation Army to create an original holiday show that will be performed, free of charge, as a “thank you” for the community’s 28 years of supporting the ballet.

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Bergasse Fulfills Desire to Choreograph MGM-Styled Dream Ballet

Choreographer Joshua Bergasse, an Emmy Award winner for his work on Smash, makes his Broadway debut this season with the Broadway classic On the Town, a feat of storytelling in song and dance that is rarely seen on the modern Broadway stage.

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Pregnant Pennsylvania Ballet Veteran Now Dancing for Two

For Rachel Maher, an 11-year Pennsylvania Ballet veteran, the choreography, costume changes, and intense action of the season-opening program “Press Play” were a little taxing at times. Maher is expecting her first child at the end of March.

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Hallberg and Osipova to Dance Together in ABT’s Spring Season

One of the great ballet pairings of recent years—David Hallberg and Natalia Osipova—will be reunited in New York City this spring during American Ballet Theatre’s season at the Metropolitan Opera House, reports the New York Times ArtsBeat.

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Grand Rapid’s Hometown Hero, Chris Van Allsburg, Lends Illustrative Talents to New Nutcracker

Tickets for Grand Rapids Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker, designed by Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg, author of The Polar Express, and Tony Award-winning designer Eugene Lee, are now on sale.

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Founder and Champion of The Florida Ballet, Laurie Picinich-Byrd, Dies

Through financial woes, the death of her husband, and leadership turnovers, Laurie Picinich-Byrd kept The Florida Ballet going as a Jacksonville arts institution for 35 years. The Florida Times-Union reported that Picinich-Byrd died last Wednesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 67.

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Following Tradition, Mother Ginger Wig Passed Along to Next City Official

Prior to continuing the tradition of transferring Mother Ginger’s towering white wig to a Pelham, Alabama, government official who will act in the Alabama Youth Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker, city councilman Ron Scott provided some sound advice.

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Ballet Fans Enthralled by World Ballet Day’s Multi-Company Live Stream

“Binge-watching television is kid’s stuff compared to gorging at the online smorgasbord known as World Ballet Day. For once, saying ‘I could watch ballet all day’ was literally true. And I have the eye-drops to prove it,” wrote Pia Catton in the Wall Street Journal.

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Paris Cityscape Provides Backdrop for Photos of Dancers atop Palais Garnier

JR, the semi-anonymous photographer who recently completed an artistic installation of large-scale photos of New York City Ballet dancers, has done it again: by scaling the rooftops of Paris’ Palais Garnier opera house with 40 ballet dancers, the artist and creator of the viral Inside Out Project has come up with yet another set of stunning images.

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October 2014 | 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Flexed Feet

A flexed foot is rarely used in ballet technique (one exception is frappé, depending on which style you teach), but is extremely important for any student to be aware of, for many reasons. One of the most important is to allow the dancer to isolate and fully utilize the hamstring muscles. When doing a slow, controlled, flexed-foot lift of the fully extended leg to a tendu height, students can feel maximum turnout without having to think about pointing the foot.

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October 2014 | Classroom Connection

This year I taught a pre-ballet class for 6-year-olds. At first they were unfocused, bored, and sloppy while working at the barre. So I bought rolls of colored ribbon and told the dancers that anyone who did the best plié, tendu, or other barre exercise would get a ribbon—a Ballet Bow. I walked around the class and tied these around the ponytails or buns of students who were doing good work. I have never had a class work so hard on their technique before.

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October 2014 | FYI

A lifetime of memories can often be found in the ticket stubs, photos, and mementos that accumulate in a bureau drawer. At American Ballet Theatre, items of a similar ilk—from set sketches to score manuscripts, choreographers’ contacts to dancers’ diaries—have been piling up for 75 years.

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October 2014 | Ballet Scene |Ballet in Cleveland

Every gardener knows that if you want to raise tomatoes in a pot or peas in the ground, you need to give your seedlings the right mix of soil, water, and sunshine. Otherwise, forget about even thinking of harvesting a halfway decent crop. Arts entrepreneur Jessica Wallis, a former elementary school teacher who was once an aspiring ballerina, knows how to create a good environment for what she wants to grow: ballet in Cleveland.

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Royal Winnipeg Ballet Addresses Canada’s Ugly Past in Ballet about Residential Schools

One of the most European forms of dance is tackling Canada’s fraught colonial history this week as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet premieres Going Home Star—Truth and Reconciliation, a ballet that discusses abuses, such as sexual abuse and violence, suffered by aboriginal children in residential schools.

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Royal Ballet Revives MacMillian’s Tragic Masterpiece, Manon

Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s tragic ballet Manon headlines the Royal Ballet’s new season at London’s Royal Opera House—40 years after the tragic story of a young girl who chooses luxury over love premiered in 1974 to considerable acclaim.

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